Worried about Swindon’s Future?
As a parent is that how you feel? I certainly did when, fifteen years ago, and a prospective parent, I moved to Swindon. Back then the view of Swindon around the UK wasn’t what you’d call favourable. Indeed – some might argue it still isn’t. And that, at length, is how STEM with Scoosh came into being.
Doing my bit to improve Swindon, its future and life for its residents is the motivation behind my business, Scoosh. Helping our children to love STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) opens up opportunities for them. And that in turn benefits Swindon.
Of course, STEM is not a new thing – though it went by other names. It’s not new to Swindon for sure. Indeed, one might argue, that Swindon, home of the great GWR Works, where Spitfires were built in the war. Then later came Garrard Record decks and the car industry is the home of STEM. Yet there remains a huge STEM skills gap. And within the take-up of STEM-based careers, fewer girls than boys. As this article from the Swindon Advertiser points out: of the science and engineering apprenticeships available to Swindon’s young people, only seven per cent of girls took up STEM-based apprenticeships in 2017/2018. This is a lamentable figure to me – both as a parent and as a one-time software engineer.
The article goes on to state that, across England, the apprenticeship split as a whole, is an even one between men and women. But female representation in STEM subjects remains low. In Swindon, 1,240 STEM apprenticeships were started over the last five years – but a mere ninety were taken up by women. That’s according to data from the Department of Education.
You’re a parent – What does this mean to you?
We can work together to close that gap.
It’s my firm belief that the earlier we get started the better. Sharing books and stories with even the youngest children stimulates their imagination. What’s more it improves speech and literacy – this is scientifically proven. Other things you can do – and Scoosh are here to help:
- Throughout childhood, expose them to exciting demonstrations and hands-on projects. Both at home and school.
- Play engaging maths games such as Monopoly and T T Rockstars.
- Watch awesome scientists like Professor Brian Cox and Tim Peake.
- Make YouTube playlists combining music with science. Check out the ASAP Science channel.
- Celebrate going to the moon with space toys and a telescope.
- Attend science fairs and technology festivals such as ‘Tomorrow’ in 2020 or the Cheltenham Science Festival.
- Encourage, mentor, sponsor less well-off children.
Scoosh STEM Clubs
The clubs run by Scoosh involve the kids getting hands-on with STEM. Such as:
- Using their imagination to build a bridge purely out of paper and masking tape!
- Cementing their science knowledge in a practical way by making slime.
- Enjoying using maths to solve puzzles.
During the 65+ club sessions run so far, kids have really engaged with the practical and free-form nature of completing projects using their imagination. I give them an end goal and set them to the task. This gives them the opportunity to brainstorm with their friends and I am there to assist if they find it tricky.
This balloon car project which you can see in the YouTube clip below is a sample of Scoosh activities:
Scoosh is here to help you get your kids engaged with STEM. We’re all about sharing fun and STEM projects with children. We do workshops, after-school clubs and 1:1 tutoring. There’s more information here on our website about all of that.
We work too with educators to provide stimulating environments for STEM learning.